Food waste – a bigger issue that you’d think

Food waste costs the average Australian household approximately $3,800 per year.

Australians from all parts of the food chain must work together in order to cut back on food waste – from the paddock to the plate. This includes farms, industry, healthcare and foodservice sectors as well as households.

Food waste is not only expensive, but it also places pressure on the environment as important resources such as water and energy are needed to produce, transport and sell food. More than 5 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill, enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.

The good news is that you can make a positive difference to help reduce food waste in Australia.

Eight simple ways to reduce your household food waste:

  1. Plan meals in advance, so that you only buy the food you need.
  2. Check the cupboard and fridge before you go shopping.
  3. Store food correctly, be creative using leftover ingredients and freeze any leftover meals.
  4. Compost fruit, vegetable and grain-food scraps, or use worm farms.
  5. Choose foods with the least amount of packaging where possible and appropriate.
  6. Reduce packaging by buying frequently-used or long shelf life items in bulk, and portioning. into re-usable containers. For example, buying 1kg of meat and freezing into several meal-size amounts or buying 1kg of yoghurt and dividing into smaller portions to take to school or work.
  7. Use sturdy, re-usable bottles for water and other drinks, rather than buying disposable containers.
  8. Take reusable bags with you to the supermarket and remember to carry a spare.

Don’t put too much food on your plate. Make sure your serve sizes match your nutritional requirements. Get to know your serve sizes and how many serves you need from the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

For more information, visit Love Food Hate Waste.

An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can provide personalised advice for enjoying a healthy and varied diet whilst minimising food waste in your household.


  1. (2020). Food Waste Facts – OzHarvest. [online] Available at: